In a surprise move this morning, Google has outed the design for the upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone themselves.
Possibly in response to mounting leaks of the design, Google has posted a picture of the phone from their verified Made by GoogleTwitter account.
Google showed the rear of the phone which included a large square camera bump with dual rear camera sensors. The square camera bump is an interesting design choice given rumours of Apple also offering this square camera array on the upcoming 2019 iPhone.
The phone, shown off here in black with a silver or white power button, is expected to be made available in a number of colour options. Google has usually offered a white colour option, as well as a more fanciful colour option like the ‘Not Pink’ Pixel 3 or ‘Purplish’ Pixel 3; with these phones all sporting a brightly coloured power button as well.
Google changed to a completely glass rear panel with the Pixel 3 design, and it would seem from the gloss on the material and curve on the edges of the phone that they will continue with glass, though it seems this is the first Pixel phone design without a rear fingerprint sensor.
The Pixel 4 is rumoured to also be including a radar sensor for gesture controls, likely their Project Soli sensor announced at Google I/O in 2015. The rear camera bump shows a sensor above the camera sensors which could possibly be the sensor, or it could just be a laser for more precise photography.
Google has stuck to an October announcement cycle for their line of Made by Google hardware, and this year was expected to be no different. The release of these designs this far out is a big move and suggests Google may be looking to change up the timing of their hardware launches.
The cycle of Google phone launches has left them at the tail end of mobile processor release cycle. Most Android hardware partners launch their yearly flagship phones with the latest hardware much earlier in the year. Punching up this schedule would offer Google greater access to customers switching plans on a yearly cycle.
New hardware from Google is always welcome, we’ll be watching this space closely.